History

1047

The Abbaye aux Dames was founded by the count of Anjou Geoffroy Martel and his wife Agnès of Bourgogne.

Vers 1120-1130

The church is extended. Construction of the bell tower and work on the western façade.

clocher abbaye aux dames

Vers 1610 et 1648

Two successive fires cause vast amounts of damage.

The convent buildings are completely rebuilt under the supervision of the abbess Françoise de Foix.

 

 

1792

The abbey is turned into a prison.

 

1808

Un décret impérial transforme l’abbaye en caserne.

 

1924

The town municipality buys the church and undertakes the first phase of its renovation.

 

1939

The church is handed back for religious worship.

 

1972

Creation of the Festival of Ancient Music.

This leads to an comprehensive restoration programme of the site.
Restoration of the monastic buildings that had been abandoned after the war.

 

ambiance festival de saintes

1988

End of restoration work.

The cultural centre is inaugurated in the presence of the President François Mitterand.

 

Inauguration avec François Mitterrand

2006

The ‘Musical Academies’ becomes the ‘Festival de Saintes’

concert festival de saintes 2006

2013

The Abbaye aux Dames becomes the point of focus for music in Saintes.
Its spiritual and temporal influence has become economic, cutural and musical.

 

abbaye aux dames